VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN

 

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD, WASHINGTON

            WHEREAS, the Department of Justice (hereinafter, the “Department”) is authorized under federal law to investigate and enforce compliance with title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) of 1990, 42 USC sec. 12131 – 12134; and,

            WHEREAS, the Department is authorized to investigate and enforce compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC sec. 794, and the Department’s implementing regulation contained in 28 CFR Part 42, subpart G; and,

            WHEREAS, the Department received a complaint against the City of Lakewood, Washington (hereinafter, the “City”), filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, alleging that the City’s newly constructed City Hall did not comply with ADA standards; and,

            WHEREAS, the Civil Rights Division of the Department received the complaint and acted upon the complaint under the authority granted in 28 CFR Part 35, Subpart F; and,

            WHEREAS, should a “public entity,” as defined in title II, 42 USC sec. 12131(1), fail to achieve and maintain compliance with the ADA and should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance with the requirements of the ADA, the United States Attorney General is authorized under 42 U.S.C. section 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA; and,

 

WHEREAS, should the City fail to comply with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart G, the United States Attorney General is authorized, under 29 USC sec. 794 and 28 CFR sections 42.530, 42.108-110, to suspend or terminate financial assistance to the City provided by the Department of Justice or to bring a civil suit to enforce the rights of the United States under applicable federal, state, or local law; and,

 

            WHEREAS, the City is a municipal corporation of the State of Washington, incorporated on February 28, 1996, and is a public entity as defined in title II, 42 USC sec. 12131(1) and receives financial assistance from the Department; and,

            WHEREAS, after the Department inspected the City’s recently constructed City Hall building and City park and recreation facilities, and the Department requested that the City voluntarily make improvements and changes to facilities and adopt procedures and policies in furtherance of the goals of the ADA; and,

            WHEREAS, the City, recognizing the importance of ADA compliance and accessibility, does hereby voluntarily agree to the conditions stated below.

            NOW, THEREFORE, the City of Lakewood and the US Department of Justice do hereby stipulate and agree as follows:

  1. The City of Lakewood has completed the following actions in furtherance of the goal of compliance with ADA requirements:
    1. The City of Lakewood’s Director of Human Resources and Services has been designated as the City’s ADA Coordinator.  Grievances and complaints regarding ADA-related matters shall be brought to the Director of Human Resources and Service’s attention and he/she will work towards resolution of such matters.

 

    1. The City provides assistive listening devices at City Council meetings and municipal court hearings for people with hearing impairments.
  1. The City of Lakewood does hereby acknowledge and agree that the following procedural and programmatic actions shall be completed by October 15, 2004, in order to achieve and maintain compliance with ADA standards:

 

    1. The City shall adopt the attached Notice Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, distribute it to all department heads, publish it in a newspaper of general circulation serving the City, post the notice on its internet home page, and post copies of it in conspicuous locations in its public building.  The notice shall be replaced with updated information as necessary.  The City shall provide copies of this notice to any person upon request.  A copy of this notice is attached hereto and marked as “Attachment A.”
    1. The City shall adopt, implement and report to the Department written procedures for providing information to interested persons with disabilities concerning the existence and location of the City’s accessible programs, services and activities.
    1. The City shall adopt the attached ADA Grievance Procedure, distribute it to all department heads and post copies of it in conspicuous locations in its public building.  The Grievance Procedure shall be replaced with updated information as necessary. A copy of this procedure shall be provided to any person upon request.  A copy of this procedure is attached hereto and marked as “Attachment B.”
    1. The City shall identify sources of qualified sign language and oral interpreters, real-time transcription services, and vendors able to put documents into Braille.  The City shall report to the Department written procedures and the time frame necessary to fulfill requests from the public for interpreters, real-time transcription services, and documents in alternative formats (Braille, large print, cassette tapes).
    1. The City shall report to the Department written procedures enacted to ensure that TTY calls are returned by the appropriate City official in a timely manner.  Within such procedures, the City shall attempt to return such calls within the same day the call is received.  If that is not possible, the procedures will require a City employee to communicate with the caller in a timely manner in order to establish a time frame within which the telephone call will be returned.
    1. The City shall also develop or procure a two-hour training program on the requirements of the ADA and appropriate ways to interact with persons with disabilities.  The program will incorporate ADA technical assistance and the City will consult with interested persons, including persons with disabilities, in developing or procuring this training program.  All City employees who have direct contact with the public shall be trained according to this program.
    1. The City will take steps to ensure that all appropriate employees are trained and practiced in using a TTY and the Deaf Access Program/Washington Relay Service to make and receive calls.  The City shall also communicate with Deaf Access Program/Washington Relay Service to ensure that TTYs are maintained in good working order.
    1. As necessary and to the extent not already accomplished, the City shall amend employment practices to comply with the regulations of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, implementing title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  At a minimum these policies will provide that the City:

 

i.               Will not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices.

ii.                   Will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature or severity of a disability.  Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions.  Medical examinations or inquiries may be made only after a conditional offer of employment is made and only if required of applicants for the position.

iii.                  Will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability upon request unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the City’s business.  If an applicant or an employee requests a reasonable accommodation and the individual’s disability and need for the accommodation are not readily apparent or otherwise known, the City may ask the individual for information necessary to determine if the individual has a disability-related need for the accommodation.

iv.                 Will maintain employee medical records separate from personnel files and keep medical records confidential.

v.                   Will make an individual assessment of whether a qualified individual with a disability meets selection criteria for employment decisions.  To the extent the City’s selection criteria have the effect of disqualifying an individual because of disability, those criteria will be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

 

    1. The City shall establish a process to solicit and receive requests from persons with disabilities regarding accessibility of sidewalks and requests to add curb cuts at particular locations within the City.
    1. The City will implement and report to the Department written procedures to ensure that during cleanup operations, such as removal of debris after a hurricane or tornado, people with disabilities will be advised how to inform the City regarding areas of significant concern (such as City workers blocking access on public sidewalks by piling debris during cleanup operations).

 

  1. The City does hereby acknowledge and agree that the following changes to facilities shall be completed by October 15, 2004, in order to achieve compliance with ADA standards:
    1. Toilet room identification signs within the new City Hall shall be mounted adjacent to the latch side of all public restrooms so that the centerline of the signs are 60 inches above the finished floor and so that a person can approach within three inches of the sign without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of the door.
    1. The opening pressure on restroom doors within City Hall shall be adjusted to require no more than five pounds of force to open.
    1. In the first floor women’s public toilet room, a toilet paper dispenser will be located below the side grab bar with the farthest edge of the toilet paper roll no more than 36 inches from the back wall and its centerline shall be no less than 19 inches from the finished floor.  A baby changing station in this restroom shall be installed between 28 to 34 inches above the finished floor when open.
    1. In the first floor men’s public toilet room, a baby changing station shall be installed between 28 to 34 inches above the finished floor when open.
    1. A second handrail will be installed on the ramp to the platform in the City Council chambers.
    1. In the jurors’ toilet room, the toilet will be reconfigured so that the centerline is exactly 18 inches from the side wall.
    1. The holding cell toilet will be reconfigured so that the centerline is exactly 18 inches from the side wall.
    1. In the second floor men’s public toilet room, the baby changing station will be moved so that it is within 28 to 34 inches from the finished floor.
    1. The second floor women’s public toilet room toilet will be reconfigured so that the toilet is exactly 18 inches on center from the side wall, and the toilet paper dispenser shall be moved so that the farthest edge of the toilet paper roll is no more than 36 inches from the back wall and its centerline is no less than 19 inches from the finished floor.
    1. The second floor men’s employee locker room shall be reconfigured so that the coat hooks are no more than 54 inches above the finished floor for a side reach or no more than 48 inches above the finished floor for a front reach, and the toilet paper dispenser shall be moved so that the farthest edge of the toilet paper roll is no more than 36 inches from the back wall and its centerline is no less than 19 inches from the finished floor.
    1. The second floor women’s employee locker room shall be reconfigured so that the coat hooks are no more than 54 inches above the finished floor for a side reach or no more than 48 inches above the finished floor for a front reach.
    1. In the second floor women’s employee toilet room, the toilet will be reconfigured so that its centerline is exactly 18 inches from the side wall.
    1. In the third floor conference room, the apron of the sink will be reconfigured so that the sink has an apron that is at least 27 inches above the finished floor with the rim no higher than 34 inches above the finished floor.
    1. The third floor employee workroom will be reconfigured so that equipment and supply reach ranges are accessible, so that the floor space is clear under work tables and so that there is adequate clear floor space for each element in the workroom.
    1. The third floor women’s public toilet room shall be reconfigured so that the baby changing station will be between 28 and 34 inches from the finished floor when open.
    1. The third floor men’s public toilet room shall be reconfigured so that the baby changing station will be between 28 and 34 inches from the finished floor when open.
    1. Parking at City Hall shall include an access aisle of at least 96 inches wide between the two van accessible parking spaces and an accessible sign that cannot be obscured by a vehicle parked in the space shall be provided at each accessible space.
    1. At Washington Park, a van accessible parking space will be provided that is at least 96 inches wide.
    1. At Kiwanis Park a “van accessible” sign will be placed at each van accessible parking space, and the toilet paper dispensers will be changed so as to allow continuous paper flow.
    1. At American Lake Park, a van accessible parking space will be provided that is at least 96 inches wide and a sign designating the space as “van accessible” will be installed.
    1. The men’s toilet rooms at American Lake Park will be reconfigured so that the toilet is exactly 18 inches on center from the side wall, and the toilet paper dispenser will be located below the grab bar with the farthest edge no more than 36 inches from the back wall and its center line no less than 19 inches from the finished floor.
    1. At American Lake Park, signs for the men’s and women’s toilet rooms will be mounted with the centerline at 60 inches above the finished floor.
    1. At Harry Todd Park, signs will designate all accessible parking spaces furthest from the playground, and an accessible space of at least 96 inches will be provided that includes an access aisle measuring at least 60 inches.  The access aisle will be free from obstructions.
    1. At the Harry Todd Park accessible parking spaces next to the playground, the City will provide at least one van accessible parking space of at least 96 inches wide that is served by a 96 inch wide access aisle.  A sign will be provided to designate the space as van accessible.
    1. At Harry Todd Park, accessible routes will be provided from the parking spaces to the toilet rooms, from accessible parking to the basketball courts, and from accessible parking to at least one accessible picnic shelter.  All accessible routes will be firm, stable and slip resistant.
    1. In the unisex toilet room at Harry Todd Park, the toilet will be reconfigured so that the centerline of the toilet is exactly 18 inches away from the side wall and the flush control shall be located on the wide open side of the toilet.  Further, at inaccessible toilet rooms, there will be signs posted that direct users to the location of accessible toilet rooms.

 

  1. In order to assure that ADA compliance and accessibility is maintained in the future, the City does hereby agree that it will comply with ADA requirements in all future construction and remodeling projects.
  1. Implementation and enforcement of this agreement shall be achieved as follows:
    1. If the City desires to modify any portion of this agreement due to changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification.  Such modification will not take effect before the City receives written agreement with the modification from the Department.  Approval of modifications by the Department shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
    1. The Department may review compliance at any time.  If the Department believes that the City has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement from the Department, the Department will notify the City in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith.   If the Department is not able to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this agreement or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce title II.
    1. This Agreement will remain in effect for one year from the effective date or until the partied agree that full compliance with this Agreement by the city has been achieved, whichever is earlier.
    1. Failure by the Department to enforce the entire agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department’s right to enforce other deadlines and provisions as provided in this agreement.
    1. This agreement is a public document.  Either the City or the Department shall provide a copy of this document or any information contained in it to any person upon request.
    1. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party that is not contained in this written agreement or the attachments hereto shall be enforceable.  The agreement shall not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law.
    1. This agreement does not affect the City’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  It is the understanding of the City and the Department that this voluntary agreement evidences the intent of the City to work cooperatively with the Department and to maintain compliance with ADA requirements as required by law.
    1. The person signing for the City represents that he or she is authorized to bind the City to this agreement, and the effective date of this agreement is the date of the last signature below.

For the City:                                                     For the United States:

                                                                       

                                                                        R. Alexander Acosta

                                                                        Assistant Attorney General

                                                                        Civil Rights Division

By:       ___________________________      By:       _____________________________

            D. SCOTT ROHLFS,                          JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief

            City Manager                                       JEANINE WORDEN, Deputy Chief

            6000 Main Street SW                          NAOMI H. MILTON, Supervisory Attorney

            Lakewood, WA 98498                        AMELIA M. EDUARDO, Investigator

                                                                        MICHELE ANTONIO MALLOZZI, Architect

                                                                        US Department of Justice

                                                                        Civil Rights Division

                                                                        950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

                                                                        Disability Rights Section – NYA

                                                                        Washington, DC 20530

Date: ____________________________       Date:    _____________________________